Newcastle and Watford are considering a loan move for Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury as the England U21 looks for regular Premier League action despite Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers hailing him as ‘sensational’
- Newcastle and Watford are considering a late loan deal for Hamza Choudhury
- The midfielder has impressed in an unfamiliar centre-back role for Leicester
- Foxes boss compared Choudhury to former Liverpool player Javier Mascherano
- But the England U21 wants to maintain regular Premier League playing time
Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury is being considered for a late loan deal by Watford and Newcastle United.
The England Under-21 international has impressed with his versatility, playing in an unfamiliar centre-back role after being called upon during a defensive injury crisis.
Manager Brendan Rodgers labelled Choudhury’s performance against Watford earlier this month as ‘sensational’, even comparing the 24-year-old to former Liverpool and Argentina international Javier Mascherano, who started as a defensive midfielder but ended up playing at centre-back with Barcelona.
Leicester midfielder Hamza Choudhury (left) is being considered for a loan deal by Watford and Newcastle
‘I thought he was sensational in the game,’ said Rodgers. ‘Sometimes it happens like that for a midfield player stepping back.
‘He was defensively quick, making interceptions and blocks, his recovery speed was incredible and that’s why you always have quick players, especially how we play, squeezing the pitch.
‘His passing was excellent in the main as well, so I’m delighted for him.’
‘He’s a very flexible player for us and he’s played against a Premier League team with really good players,’ the manager added. ‘So it shows that he can, if he’s needed in there.
Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers (right) compared the midfielder to ex-Liverpool man Javier Mascherano
‘That’s what Hamza brings to the group, he can play in a few positions. You see the education in his game improving all the time, where he can slot in and play against a Premier League team to that level.’
Choudhury’s pace and tackling has often prompted Rodgers to utilise him in defence during training and that has come to the fore when he has been tasked to fill in for first team games.
He has proved one of their top performers during a taxing period for the squad and as a local academy product is well established as a firm favourite with supporters.
Leicester are not looking to let anyone leave this window but Choudhury, who was close to joining Newcastle under former boss Steve Bruce, may have a decision to make once all the Foxes’ squad are fit and back from AFCON.
The England U21 was close to joining Newcastle under Steve Bruce (pictured) last summer
He had been on the fringe of the starting XI prior to January and will want to maintain his status of playing regularly in the Premier League.
Watford and Newcastle are among those considering an approach, noting his ability to play in different positions ahead of what will be a tough run-in for clubs at the lower end of the table.
With ten days of the window left, Leicester are braced for enquiries. They were willing to let him go last summer and recognise it could be difficult for him to return to the bench.
They remain in the market for loan signings themselves and making space by moving Choudhury on could prove the best solution.